Hola from Cozumel, Mexico!
I’m wrapping up my summer vacation south of the border.
My hotel is next to the international cruise ship pier…we’ve seen 27 ships dock to-date, bringing thousands of passengers to the island daily.
Watching these massive ships sail in and out, they look basically the same: white, longer than a football field, lots of tiny windows, and some type of water feature protruding from the top deck.
I also know they all contain cabins, dining room, casino, restaurants, shops, swimming pool, etc.
So, with most things being equal, how do people know which cruise ship is right for them?
I learned the answer all comes down to marketing.
Each cruise line has a distinct type of passenger, which I’ve nicknamed and summarized the behaviors I observed in the port and watched via binoculars from my balcony (yes, I know this sounds creepy):
Passenger A: Ready to Party
This cruise line clearly communicates fun in its name. Passengers were age 20-30s, not many children, took a “booze cruise” excursion, hung out at Senor Frogs, and had the most people running to board the ship at the last second to avoid being stranded.
Passenger B: Family Fun
This cruise line hints at the royal treatment in its name, and had the largest ships. Passengers were 40 and up, parents with children and multi-generational groups. These passengers shopped in the port area or took a family-oriented excursion, and boarded the ship long before the horn sounded.
Passenger C: Refined and Relaxed
This cruise line caters to the VIPs and had the smallest ships…which translates to fewer passengers and more exclusivity. These passengers were the oldest age group and never seemed to be in a hurry. I saw the fewest people leaving the ship to come into the port.
The trick is matching the type of passenger to the right cruise line!
How do they do this?
- Knowing who there customer is.
- Knowing what their customer wants.
- Knowing where to find their customer.
- Knowing how to communicate they are the best choice.
- Knowing the offer that will move their customer to action.
Bottom line: This is the same criteria to get the right customers on board for your business.